Search

Arsenal boss explains why important signing was ‘very difficult decision’

PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 January 2016

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech applauds the fans (John Walton/PA Wire)

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech applauds the fans (John Walton/PA Wire)

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists the decision to sign Petr Cech from Chelsea was not a no-brainer.

Wenger brought in the former Chelsea goalkeeper in the summer for a fee in the region of £11m and he has been a key addition as Arsenal top the Premier League after 22 games.

David Ospina earned the spot as the Gunners’ first-choice keeper last season but signing Cech meant the Colombian was demoted to a backup role, having only appeared in the cup competitions this season.

Wenger admits it was a difficult decision to replace Ospina with Cech as he rates the backup shot-stopper very highly.

“It was a very, very difficult decision for me because I rated Ospina highly,” Wenger said.

“I have a high opinion of him and he is a goalkeeper that I think is under-rated, especially in England.

“But that was one of the few opportunities to say ‘it’s obvious’. I think to not do it would have been a mistake.

Wenger says he had some doubts over Cech’s ability to perform at the top level at the age of 33, but his fears were put to rest when he met the Czech keeper in person.

“I didn’t know what kind of shape he was in physically because he hadn’t played but when I met him I was quickly reassured by his desire to do well and his motivation.

“I didn’t know how much physically he still could produce because he didn’t play at Chelsea so was that linked with a drop in his physical aptitude?

“But I know Petr Cech because he played there for 11 years and we played against him a lot, so I knew that the potential was exceptional. It was just a question of how motivated he still is and physically could he do it?”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

00:02

Arsenal host Leicester City at the Emirates on Monday evening. Read on for Layth Yousif’s match preview.

Yesterday, 21:35

Former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has been discussing various topics with Layth Yousif during his exclusive interview. The talented 26-year-old invited Layth to his house for an in-depth discussion on a wide-ranging number of issues as the star prepares to launch his first soccer school at the end of this month. Read on for more...

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Hampstead & Westminster handed out a lesson to the students of Exeter as they made it five straight wins in the Premier Division in sunny Devon.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Sarries made it two out of two in their Champions Cup campaign.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

The Spurs manager admitted his team suffered ‘a little bit more’ than he would have liked during today’s derby with West Ham

Saturday, October 20, 2018

FA Cup fourth qualifying round: Haringey Borough 2 Poole Town 1

Saturday, October 20, 2018

The Hammers huffed and puffed but couldn’t beat Hugo Lloris

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has been discussing various topics with Layth Yousif during his exclusive interview this week. The talented 26-year-old invited Layth to his house for an in-depth discussion on a wide-ranging number of issues as the star prepares to launch his first soccer school at the end of this month. Read on for more...

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now